Nothing is as elemental, as essential to human life, as the air we breathe. Yet around the world, in rich countries and poor ones, it is quietly poisoning us.
Here Pulitzer Center journalists dig into the causes, treatment, and consequences of increasingly prevalent chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, and silicosis—diseases that, if left untreated, rob communities of both productivity and quality of life.
We also look at the global footprint of cancer, which kills more people than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. We examine the disproportionate burden placed on poorer countries, as well as the medical and business innovations that allow for treatment once thought too costly or too difficult to deliver.
Other projects relate to the rise of mental health awareness throughout the world. Our grantees investigate the impact of trauma on Syrian refugees and the lack of infrastructure to address it. They report on the effects that climate change will have on mental health in the future. And they analyze the demographic shift in countries faced with the challenges of caring for an aging population.
Chronic Illnesses and Challenges highlights the non-communicable diseases that people can’t catch, but can’t seem to get rid of, either. For both journalists and scientists, the emerging challenge is to conquer the chronic.